As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby Talib » Wed 22 Jul 2009 11:19 pm

Why Cyrillic? That seems like an unusual choice for a tonal language from Southeast Asia.
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby imbecilica » Thu 23 Jul 2009 9:24 am

I've been researching the ancient Vietnamese script called Chữ Khoa Đẩu (Tadpole script) and this is what I've gathered so far.

According to historic documents from China, there is talk of a script from modern day Vietnam which is described as being 'tadpole-like etchings', hence the name Chữ Khoa Đẩu (Tadpole script). At the time, the nation of Văn Lang-Âu Lạc (Vietnam) was relatively civilised and it seems logical for it to have needed a writing system. China had annexed Vietnam into its empire in the first century BC and it wasn't until 939 AD that Vietnam managed to break free. During these 1000 or so years, cultural influence was inevitable and linguistically, Vietnamese had changed as a result.

It is likely that during that period, Vietnamese began to develop tones and incorporate thousands of loanwords from Chinese. It is also likely that since China wanted to assimilate the Vietnamese - they would try all they could to destroy the identity of the people. Book burning was not uncommon even within China itself, if the Vietnamese did have books then it's most likely they were destroyed. There is evidence that Rome had ordered paper from [交趾 or 交阯] Jiaozhi (Giao Chỉ) which was a region within the Vietnamese kingdom of Văn Lang. This suggests that the Vietnamese had access to paper and perhaps printing.

Aside from this, there has been evidence of the 'Tadpole' writing on various Đông Sơn artefacts including the famous drums, and also in caves and on boulders and even on paper!
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby Sobekhotep » Sat 25 Jul 2009 1:33 am

Talib wrote:Why Cyrillic? That seems like an unusual choice for a tonal language from Southeast Asia.

I like Cyrillic because it's looks cooler than Latin (in my opinion) but it still has a very "modern" feel. And there are so many letters in Cyrillic that there wouldn't need to be any diacritics except for tones.

imbecilica wrote:I've been researching the ancient Vietnamese script called Chữ Khoa Đẩu (Tadpole script) and this is what I've gathered so far.

According to historic documents from China, there is talk of a script from modern day Vietnam which is described as being 'tadpole-like etchings', hence the name Chữ Khoa Đẩu (Tadpole script). At the time, the nation of Văn Lang-Âu Lạc (Vietnam) was relatively civilised and it seems logical for it to have needed a writing system. China had annexed Vietnam into its empire in the first century BC and it wasn't until 939 AD that Vietnam managed to break free. During these 1000 or so years, cultural influence was inevitable and linguistically, Vietnamese had changed as a result.

It is likely that during that period, Vietnamese began to develop tones and incorporate thousands of loanwords from Chinese. It is also likely that since China wanted to assimilate the Vietnamese - they would try all they could to destroy the identity of the people. Book burning was not uncommon even within China itself, if the Vietnamese did have books then it's most likely they were destroyed. There is evidence that Rome had ordered paper from [交趾 or 交阯] Jiaozhi (Giao Chỉ) which was a region within the Vietnamese kingdom of Văn Lang. This suggests that the Vietnamese had access to paper and perhaps printing.

Aside from this, there has been evidence of the 'Tadpole' writing on various Đông Sơn artefacts including the famous drums, and also in caves and on boulders and even on paper!

On the first image in your attachment there's a section that says Chữ Ấn Độ and then it lists the Telugu script. But Chữ Ấn Độ just means "Indian script" so I think that could be misleading since there are a myriad of languages & scripts used there. It should probably say Chữ Telugu.
Similarly, there is Chữ Xiri Lan ca for the Sinhala script. I think it should say Chữ Sinhala since Tamil is also an official language of Sri Lanka.
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby imbecilica » Sat 25 Jul 2009 11:27 am

I didn't actually create any of the attachments, but I can tell you that Vietnamese people tend to attach names to things with which we'd be familiar with. I can assure you that most Vietnamese wouldn't have a clue what Telugu or Sinhala is, but India and Sri Lanka is quite widely known of. Those names aren't 100% accurate I know.
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby ILuvEire » Sat 25 Jul 2009 11:32 am

Hehe, you know, English ain't so great at naming things either. Like the confusion between Indian (from India) and Indian (Native American).
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby Neqitan » Sat 25 Jul 2009 4:14 pm

ILuvEire wrote:Hehe, you know, English ain't so great at naming things either. Like the confusion between Indian (from India) and Indian (Native American).

It also exists in Spanish, and it's those Western European imperalists' fault actually. Lately the word "hindú" has been taking over the former meaning though.
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby sokuban » Mon 27 Jul 2009 10:54 am

Sounds cool. (I know I said I don't think Chu Nom is good, but I actually -kinda- like it, and if I ever learnt Vietnamese I'd definately learn Chu Nom with it. But that's mainly because of my Chinese influence and that learning Chu Nom would /help/ me learn Vietnamese. Due to the environment I'm in now, and the possible social unacceptability of learning Vietnamese here, I can't start right now, but maybe in a couple months later I can - though I'd definitely be too lazy to.)

You don't necessarily have to "standardize" Chu Nom (I don't like "standardization" of languages in general), but there it would be nice if there was a system (cursive?) that could be used to make the writing faster.

Like, one thing I just thought up of, is to make a grass script style cursive form of each sound element, so all the semanto-phonetic Chu Nom characters could be written with the phonetic part being extremely cursive. This would save a lot of strokes, and make it much easier to write, without becoming too illegible.

Though I have no clue how many sound elements there are in Vietnamese, and it might be a lot of work.
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby kaenif » Mon 27 Jul 2009 1:43 pm

sokuban wrote:Sounds cool. (I know I said I don't think Chu Nom is good, but I actually -kinda- like it, and if I ever learnt Vietnamese I'd definately learn Chu Nom with it. But that's mainly because of my Chinese influence and that learning Chu Nom would /help/ me learn Vietnamese. Due to the environment I'm in now, and the possible social unacceptability of learning Vietnamese here, I can't start right now, but maybe in a couple months later I can - though I'd definitely be too lazy to.)

You don't necessarily have to "standardize" Chu Nom (I don't like "standardization" of languages in general), but there it would be nice if there was a system (cursive?) that could be used to make the writing faster.

Like, one thing I just thought up of, is to make a grass script style cursive form of each sound element, so all the semanto-phonetic Chu Nom characters could be written with the phonetic part being extremely cursive. This would save a lot of strokes, and make it much easier to write, without becoming too illegible.

Though I have no clue how many sound elements there are in Vietnamese, and it might be a lot of work.

In the case of Chinese, the grass script is illegible to people who haven't learnt it. But as most Vietnamese don't know Chu Nom, I think it is okay to learn only cursive?
However, I find normal script and grass script combining into a character weird o_O
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby Sobekhotep » Tue 28 Jul 2009 1:25 am

Neqitan wrote:
ILuvEire wrote:Hehe, you know, English ain't so great at naming things either. Like the confusion between Indian (from India) and Indian (Native American).

It also exists in Spanish

In Portuguese, the word índio/a refers to Native American peoples while the word indiano/a refers to Indian nationals.

sokuban wrote:possible social unacceptability of learning Vietnamese here

Where is that? :?:
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Re: As if Vietnamese orthography isn't bad enough!

Postby imbecilica » Mon 03 Aug 2009 4:12 pm

Chúng mình hãy chơi một trò chơi nhé!
chu_nom_1.jpg
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*I'm bored, so let's play a game. Simply match the following Chu Nom characters to their modern alphabetic equivalents and meaning! Ready? Chuẩn bị!...

chu_nom_2.jpg
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